Q. What role can natural gas play in Nova Scotia’s net-zero future and what is Eastward Energy doing to advance low-carbon energy solutions?
A. The To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, almost all the energy Nova Scotia uses will have to be clean and our energy systems will need to be transformed while continuing to meet growing energy demand. Eastward Energy is focused on developing sustainable energy solutions that Nova Scotia will need to transition to a low-carbon economy.
We’re working on low-carbon energy sources, like renewable natural gas (RNG) and green hydrogen that can be used to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors like heavy transportation, high-temperature industrial processes, and heating for older and large buildings.
We can also use RNG and green hydrogen to lower the emissions intensity of the gas we distribute. RNG can displace conventional natural gas and natural gas can be enriched with up to 20% hydrogen and used in natural gas appliances like furnaces and boilers, water heaters, ranges, and BBQs.
Eastward Energy is well positioned to be an early leader in the pipeline distribution of hydrogen because our modern gas distribution system is one of the most hydrogen-ready natural gas systems in North America.
We’re working on a proposed green hydrogen project in Halifax that will produce hydrogen that can be blended into our natural gas distribution system. Hydrogen from the facility could also be used to supply hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles in the heavy transportation sector, like at the Port of Halifax or Halifax Transit, which has committed to transitioning its fleet of over 300 diesel buses to a zero-emissions fleet by 2030, likely with a mix of battery electric and fuel cell electric buses.
We’re evaluating innovative heating solutions for buildings such as natural gas heat pumps and hybrid heating systems. These hybrids consist of an electric heat pump coupled with a backup natural gas furnace or boiler. A smart controller connects the two and switches to the natural gas furnace or boiler during cold temperatures to reduce peak electric demand, ultimately lowering the cost of generating new electricity to meet peak demand.
To learn more about Eastward Energy, visit their website: https://eastwardenergy.com/.
To learn more about other Atlantica members, visit: https://www.atlanticaenergy.org/about-us/#our-partners.